The Rap-Up is a weekly round-up of all things hip-hop. Check it out every Wednesday.
Aesop Rock joins the Rhymesayers roster, Mayday joins forces with Tech N9ne and Chicago rappers Project Mayhem serve up “Middle America” -- read on for the Rap-Up list.
Aesop Rock Readies “Skelethon”
Several years ago, after releasing five acclaimed albums, Aesop Rock, the revered independent rapper virtually disappeared from the limelight. The San Francisco-based artist is set to return July 10 with his first album in five years -- and his first with Rhymesayers Entertainment, home to Atmosphere, Evidence, Brother Ali and Blueprint, among others.
“Skelethon,” the follow-up to 2007’s “None Shall Pass,” marks Rock’s first totally self-produced set. The collection is slated to feature a wide array of guests, from Kimya Dawson to Hanni El Khatib, and will include Rock examining how people try to deal with monumental life events. Since Aesop Rock often takes an atypical approach to his music, “Skelethon” will surely be infused with innovative themes and sonics.
Tech N9ne and Mayday Visit the Badlands
An unsigned group that has collaborated with Lil Wayne and Cee Lo Green must be doing something right. After teaming up with Green on “Groundhog Day” and Weezy in the clips for “Da Da Da” and “Get A Life,” the Miami-based group Mayday signed to Tech N9ne’s Strange Music label and this week released its first national album, “Take Me to Your Leader.”
The high-powered collection includes the sinister single “Badlands,” which features Tech N9ne and provides a look into the dark, powerful music of Wrekonize, Bernz, Plex Luthor, Gianni Cash, L T Hopkins and NonMS. The CD version of “Take Me To Your Leader” is also the only place Tech N9ne fans can get their hands on a physical copy of Tech N9ne’s “Klusterfuk” EP, which was the No. 1 independent album in the country last week even though it was only available digitally. Both Tech N9ne and Mayday are on the “Hostile Takeover Tour 2012.”
Project Mayhem Takes You To The “Dope Party”
Named after the chaos-causing organization from the novel and film “Fight Club,” Chicago rap quintet Project Mayhem earned a spot in The Source’s Unsigned Hype column back in 2007 and has been releasing quality material since then.
The West Side crew’s new album, “Middle America,” is now available online. Paypa, Marco Dane, Lennon, Tree and Ish’s 18-cut collection is filled with street anthems and tag-team lyrical displays. The single “Drug Dealer Chic” was released last year with a memorable video showcasing some remarkable special effects. The current single “Dope Party” features an elegant beat from Tye Hill that serves as the perfect backdrop for the group to flow and floss with controlled authority. Twista, Common, Do Or Die, Crucial Conflict, Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco are among the Windy City’s best artists. Project Mayhem could eventually join the list.